Is it legal for a third party consultant to come in and record employees with their cell phone?

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Is it legal for a third party consultant to come in and record employees with their cell phone?

I understand that my state has 1- party consent when videotaping either the employer or employee. I also read elsewhere that the employer has to at least have a general statement or policy that they are recording. If a 3rd party recorded us without permission is that legal? if it was for work improvement, great, but what if none of the employees were aware because there was nothing stating that videotaping is occuring on the premises? Maybe this is more the case of being unethical rather then illegal? Can legal action ever be taken? Do employees have a right to know if those recordings were indeed used for work purposes and nothing else being it was the consultant’s own cell phone?

Asked on August 3, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You are correct that MN is a “one-party consent” state. This means that only one party to a communication needs to consent to its recording in order for it to be legal (unless the recording is made for the purpose of committing a crime or tortious act).  Accordingly, either employers or employees may secretly record conversations relating to employment without violating the law. 

As for employer notice of recording, I could fins no such legal reference. However, to b certain of your rights you should consult directly with a local attorney.


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